A friend of ours lost a brief battle with cancer this week. She left behind a husband and a 10-year old daughter who skates with Gracie. The gravity of their situation is magnified by how easy it is to put myself in his shoes, how much I take for granted. I’ve found myself in quiet tears a few times this week. But not for her, no longer in pain. A mother is such a huge part and influence on a daughter, it’s hard to imagine that vacancy. To even attempt to fill the void as a grieving father is inconceivable.
I always looked forward to Lisa getting better, since we didn’t pry into the progression of her disease until she offered us her prognosis. I’ll miss her dry, sharp wit and the way we’d share a laugh when the coach would spend time with our daughters, we both mentally tallying the bill and wishing the lesson brief for the sake of the budget. We’d trade war stories from raising girls, laugh at the corny music, or just enjoy hot tea quietly for a span. We were at the cusp of becoming ‘family’ friends, not just ‘rink’ friends. We need to be that now more than ever, I suppose.
Today was the first day that, for sure, she’d never be joining us again at the arena. I sat in ‘her’ spot today, alone in the stands, and smiled through the misty moments. Just watching the girls skate.